It is undeniable that social media networks have had a great impact on businesses and on the life of every web user in general. The airlines have decided to get their share of the pie by allowing passengers to choose who they get to sit next to on flights, through social media sites.
The International airline KLM is now offering an innovative reservation program which will allow air travelers to view the profiles of other flight passengers through LinkedIn and Facebook. Air travelers will then get the opportunity to choose who they get to sit next to by putting in a request through the new reservation program.
Dabbed the “Meet & Seat (M&S),” the program will allow passengers to link their social media profiles with check-in information and choose a seating partner from the profiles provided by other air travelers.
Senior Vice President of E-Commerce for Air France-KLM, Martijn van de Zee, explained “KLM is leading and innovative on social media and is always looking for new innovations. M&S fits to the KLM promise of ‘a journey of inspiration.’ We hope this can be an extra reason for choosing KLM, when price, schedule, etc. make no difference.”
The program will be available from the “Manage my Booking” tab on the KLM website. Air travelers can then access the Seating tab, which gives them the option of selecting the “Meet & Seat” program. From there, air travelers can import their LinkedIn or Facebook profile details, and they have the chance to select the information they want to share with other air travelers. Air travelers can also add comment about their travel plans from the system.
A seat map is available on the system, enabling air travelers to view other passengers profile details as long as they also joined M&S. Air travelers then have the option of contacting the person who interests them or selecting a seat next to someone with an interesting profile. All M&S passengers on the same flight receive email notifications whenever a new traveler joins the system.
Air travelers had mixed reactions about the system; some passengers thought that it is weird, others said that it is about time that the world caught up with technology and others thought that it would open up a new dating scene in the air. However, some passengers were concerned that they don’t want to be that person who other passengers don’t want to seat next to, because of their profile.
M&S is currently available to passengers on New York to Amsterdam flights. The concept is definitely fascinating and could possibly be adopted by other industries for instance the cruise industry, sports events or cinema halls.